By GANNON HANEVOLD
Moapa Valley Progress
There is a famous and ancient sports axiom out there that says, “Championships are won in the offseason.”
With peaked optimism and the upcoming soccer season on the horizon, the Moapa Valley High School Soccer team hosted its fourth annual soccer camp last week. This season, the turnout was better than it has ever been. Roughly 42 girls showed up in attendance for this year’s skill camp.
“To see that much interest in soccer was exciting!” said an elated Head Soccer Coach Lisa Cornwall.
Cornwall mentioned that much of the turnout came from the younger athletes coming up to the high school. “To see that many actually take the time to come was great, and exciting for the future of soccer,” she said. “What I see is a lot more of the younger girls and the numbers just keep growing.”
Cornwall also mentioned that one of the challenges is that many of the players are busy or conflicted with other sports or activities in their lives. However, she said that is one of the conflicts she acknowledges and works around.
“It is important to make sure that they make it out to work on their sport,” she explained. “But I do recognize that these kids are very involved in their community and their school, so it does make it difficult.”
One specific area of promise to be noted is at the goalkeeping position. Cornwall said the position has been one where the team has struggled with in years past,. But this year, she has enthusiasm for what lies ahead.
“We’ve never really been strong in that area,” Cornwall said. “But we have a couple of young players interested in playing goalie, and some that are exceptional already. I’m very excited.”
Something that can always be problematic, specifically when the camp takes place in the midst of the month of June in Nevada, is heat. Although, Cornwall said the heat wasn’t an issue last week. Fortunately, the team was very much blessed with moderate temperatures during the camp.
During the camp, players worked on agility and various other individual skills in the morning. They worked on more team aspects in the evening.
During evening scrimmages, Cornwall was pleased to see great work from her team at the camp. “For the older girls, I had the majority of my team but I was still missing some of the key players,” she said. “When I put them out in the scrimmage, they were doing so well.”.
Perhaps the most substantial piece of information the Pirates head coach was able to notice from the camp this year is that the level of play continues to progress each and every year. Cornwall said the Pirate team has made “leaps and bounds” from year to year as they hold the camp annually. This year the improvement was evident once more, she said.
“Soccer isn’t an easy sport, so when I get this kind of interest I am always very excited,” Cornwall said. “Because I know that it can be grueling. But, what I also know, is that if I get them out there and they’re with us, they will enjoy it and love it. They all did extremely well across the board.”
As a whole, the performance clearly proved that there is reason to be excited about Pirate girls soccer in 2017. With last year’s team staying together for the most part, and a successful offseason training program behind them, the Pirates have a lot to look forward to.